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MEI Online: Pyrometallurgy: Conference Reports: The SAIMM 'Southern African Pyrometallurgy 2011'


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The SAIMM 'Southern African Pyrometallurgy 2011'
Cradle of Humankind, South Africa,
March 6-9, 2011


The SAIMM 'Southern African Pyrometallurgy 2011' international conference took place at Misty Hills in the Cradle of Humankind, near Johannesburg, from 6-9 March 2011. It was attended by 183 pyrometallurgists from 13 countries (80% South Africa, 5% Norway, 3% Zimbabwe, 3% Botswana, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, Singapore, USA, and Zambia). The conference provided an opportunity for people from southern African pyrometallurgical operations to present their work, and provided a forum for the exchange of ideas between people from southern Africa and from elsewhere around the world.

The conference began with a one-day short course on 'The estimation of slag properties', presented by Professor Ken Mills of Imperial College, London. It was noteworthy that about 80% of the delegates attended the short course.

Two days of technical presentations covered pyrometallurgy of numerous commodities, such as steel, ferro-alloys, silicon, PGMs, nickel, and copper. Further topics included electric arc furnaces, steam drying, co-generation of power, mineralogy, physical properties, and refractories.

The previous 'Pyro 2006' conference began a collection of 'Pyrometallurgy in Southern Africa' papers, published on the pyrometallurgy.co.za website, that describe plant operations (as well as some history, and highlights of current work), thereby providing valuable and useful reference material. The 'Pyro 2011' conference provided some further contributions towards the goal of eventually having a description of every smelter in the region.

The 440-page proceedings volume, edited by Rodney Jones and Paul den Hoed, contains 27 peer-reviewed papers, as well as the notes from the short course. The book (ISBN 978-1-920410-14-8) and CD of the proceedings are available from the SAIMM, and the full proceedings are also freely available online at www.pyrometallurgy.co.za/Pyro2011/Papers/

The social functions included a choice of visits to the Sterkfontein Caves, the Wonder Cave, and the Aloe Ridge Observatory (which houses the largest privately owned telescope in the country). The conference celebrated its grand finale by attendance at the first ever performance of the Cirque du Soleil in South Africa. There were numerous opportunities for discussions and networking during the conference. A number of equipment vendors and service providers had exhibition stands to supplement the technical presentations.

Photographs from the conference are available at www.pyrometallurgy.co.za/Pyro2011/Photographs.htm

Further information on the conference is available on the conference website at www.pyrometallurgy.co.za/Pyro2011/

Rodney Jones, Mintek, South Africa




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